Kwajalein Missile Range
Caribous

Newest data shown in red    Last updated 11/27/05

 


 

Kwajalein Atoll is one of the 34 West Central Pacific Ocean atolls that make up the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Kwajalein Atoll is a coral reef formation in the shape of a crescent loop, enclosing the world's largest lagoon with a surface area of 1,100 square miles. Situated on the reef enclosing the lagoon are approximately 100 small islands with a total land area of 5.6 square miles. Kwajalein Island, one of the three largest islands in the atoll, is 1/2 mile wide and 3 miles long (approximately 1.5 square miles in area.) Kwajalein Atoll lies 2100 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Click on photos to enlarge

Kwajalein Island
Meck Island
         Base OPS and Tower 

 
Kwajalien Operation
I have been able to get some information on the Caribou operations at Kwajalein. The first four Caribous were leased from  DeHavilland by Global Associates for a contract to support the U.S. Army at the Kwajalien Missile Range for the ABM system. Global had the contract from 1967 to 1970. The Army took the aircraft over and had contract pilots fly them. Over the next 17 years many Army Caribous supported this effort.

I talked to one of the Global pilots and he said. The Caribou's flew mainly to Meck Island (17 DME, 15 minutes block to block each way) 30 round trips a day starting at 0600 to 0100. 3 aircraft would make 10 flights to Meck starting at 0600 with 30 pax each to work on Meck and 3 would bring them back starting at 1400. the other flight were to deliver pax and cargo. Runway 18/36 at Meck was 150' x 1750' plus 200' overrun on each end.

Once in a while would fly to Roi-namur Island, we normally did that with C-54's, had 4 of those too, 9 flights a day, 3 in the morning, 70 pax each, 3 in the afternoon returning pax and 3 at different time pax and cargo. Also had 5 Hueys for the smaller islands.

The Caribous were replaced by 4 Shorts C-23C , then by 3 DeHavilland Dash 7s, which are now being replaced by 3 Beech 1900Ds. Thanks to Air Traffic Controller Jeff Winter of the Bucholz Army Airfield .

Thanks to Jim Reed - Aviation Manager Kwajalein 1980-85 for his great insight about the Caribous at Kwajalein


 
Caribous Used at Kwajalein
C/N
Tail 
Number
Notes
250
N494GA
66-250
- N494GA registrated to Global Associates 11/14/69
- Used at Kwajalein Missile Range
- N494GA  registration cancelled 7/70
- Assigned 66-250 (U.S. Government) 7/24/70
- US Army Kwajalein Missile range until 6/9/75
- Believed to have wing spar corrosion and was grounded in'85.
254
N491GA
66-254
- Delivered 2/3/67 Global Associates
- Used at Kwajalein Missile Range
- N491GA Atlas Corporation 9/70
- Transferred to US Army 1973
- US Army 66-0254  (Same serial # assigned to USAF F-4D)
- 66-0254  US Army Kwajalein Missile range 
- Sold to Union Flight 10/86 as N9984
255
N492GA
66-255
- Delivered 2/3/67 Global Associates
- Used at Kwajalein Missile Range
- N492GA Atlas Corporation 9/70
- Transferred to US Army 1973
- US Army 66-0255 (Same serial # assigned to USAF F-4D)
- 66-0255 US Army Kwajalein Missile range 6/83
- Gear collapsed at Kwajalein 1984 or 1985
- Current status unknown
256
N493GA
66-256
- Delivered 2/3/67 Global Associates
- Used at Kwajalein Missile Range
- N493GA Atlas Corporation 9/70
- Transferred to US Army 1973
- US Army 66-0256 (Same serial # assigned to USAF F-4D)
- 66-0256 assigned to the US Army Kwajalein Missile range (1973)
- current status unknown
U.S. Army Caribous Used
C/N
Tail Number
Notes
13
60-762
- Assigned to the Army Kwajalein Missle Range 3/86 to 10/86
- Departed Kwajalein 2/15/87, arrived Oakland 2/17/87 via Honolulu, Hawaii
37
60-443
- Assigned to Kwajalein Missile Range  9/80 - 10/86
- Departed Kwajalein 2/6/87, arrived Oakland 2/8/87 via Honolulu, Hawaii
55
61-396
- Assigned to Kwajalein Missile Range  6/81 - 10/86  
- Departed Kwajalein 1/26/87, arrived Oakland 2/1/87 via Honolulu, Hawaii
78
61-600
- Assigned to Kwajalein Missile Range  3/86 - 10/86
- Departed Kwajalein 1/26/87, arrived Oakland 1/29/87 via Honolulu, Hawaii
80
62-145
- Assigned to Kwajalein Missile Range  6/81 - 10/86  
- Departed Kwajalein 1/26/87, arrived Oakland 2/1/87 via Honolulu, Hawaii
119
62-178
- Assigned to Kwajalein Missile Range  4/89 - 10/86  

252

N580PA - Supported the Kwajalein Missile Range arrival date 9/73 - Departed 6/78

253

N253GA - Supported the Kwajalein Missile Range arrival date 9/73 - Departed 6/78

 
(Click on to enlarge the photos)

66-254 (cn # 254) assigned to Kwajalein Missile Range Flight and was calling at Hickam AFB near Honolulu, Hawaii on April-1982.  (GŁnter Grondstein)

Unknown Caribou with Roi-Namur in the background in 1984. (Bruce Tombecky via Jim Reed)

61-396 (c/n # 55) at Kahului Airport, Maui, Hawaii in 11/81. Note the ladder in front of # 2 engine. It was ferrying out to the Kwajalein for duty there, under contract to Global Associates. It had departed McClellan AFB, Sacramento via Point Mugu for Honolulu. Somewhere just past Equal Time Point the # 1 prop seized. So, limping along on one, they course corrected for Maui, jettisoned "everything that wasn't bolted down" - tools, parts, personal belongings, etc. and dropped down to about 50 ft. Eventually, they burned enough fuel to get up to 200 ft. About 2 hours out #2 started to heat from oil consumption. The 16 hour ordeal ended around 2300 when they touched down at Kahului with 30 minutes of fuel remaining.  (Douglas Lamerson)

 
CARIBOU CLUB PIN
 
When Terry Barker was flying RAAF C-130 Hercs, they would stage at Kwajalien Island en-route 
back to the USA.
 
The KVA Lounge at the airstrip was colloquially known as the Caribou Club. The Caribous were 
replaced by Sherpas, but the heritage remains alive and well, as does the hospitality.
 
Terry was kind enough to send a photo of the lapel badge 
<<< In 1984 a Marine C-130 lost a starter to number 3 engine. I recalled the time that he started a C-119, P&W 4360 with and F-86D and asked the skipper if would want to try a buddy start with a C-7a Caribou ( 66-254 c/n # 254 ). He said yes. This photograph documents that start and may be the only time that a Caribou has started a C-130. He required 16% RPM and with the help of a 15 knot breeze we gave him 21% RPM.  The Marine C-130 then flew to Okinawa. (Jim Reed - Aviation Manager Kwajalein 1980-85)
<<< This photo of Caribou 60-5443 (c/n 37) in 1984 was taken from a Huey helicopter while I was escorting him to a barge 200 nm at sea, North of the Kwajalein Lagoon. We had to find the barge before he ran out of fuel, land aboard and refuel prior to picking up the DOD Missile fired from Roi Namur Island.  I had a Navy Seal Team aboard to go into the water in the event the single engine Huey went down. Note the door is off the caribou.  (Jim Reed - Aviation Manager Kwajalein 1980-85)
<<< Whenever a search and rescue mission was required the first agency called was the United states Coast Guard, Search and Rescue Center in Honolulu. They would normally send a C-130 S & R Aircraft from Hono to Kwaj wasting 7 hours of flight time each way.  I convinced the Commander there that if they trained our Aviation Department and provided the rescue tools, that we could do the S & R a lot cheaper and respond much quicker than they.  The Army also saw this as a good move. The Coast Guard Commander sent a team to Kwaj for a week to train us in dropping the rescue kits.  During the Search and Rescue training with the Coast Guard they, as well as I, were really impressed with the ability and accuracy of the Aviation Department aircrew to get the job done. This photo is the practice drop of a simulated rescue kit in the Lagoon from Caribou 62-4178 (c/n # 119). (Jim Reed - Aviation Manager Kwajalein 1980-85)
<<< 66-256 (c/n # 256) - Army Kwajalein Missle Range DHC-4 Caribou at Oakland (Metro) International (OAK) USA - California, November 1973. ( John P. Stewart)
<<< 66-250 (c/n # 250) - At Kwajalein in 1973. (Shermie Wiehe)
<<< Unknown Army Kwajalein Missle Range DHC-4 Caribou taxis from Bucholz Army Airfield terminal - (date unknown)

<<< RB-57 Canberra, Caribou, C-54 parked at Kwajalein (date and tail number unknown). (Denton Mitchell)
<<< Unidentified Caribou and a Bell Huey taken in the mid 80's at Kwajalein Atoll. (Bruce Tombecky via Tim Hoog)

 


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